The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender

Book 13

I saw this for the first time at the Library’s Used Book Store shortly after its release.  The story is about a girl that picks up on other people’s feeling by eating the food they cook.   Cool premise, but it was worth $10 on Amazon, so I listed it.  It sold.  I saw it later in the audio book section of the library.  Dare I borrow an audio that I don’t have at home?  What if I love it?

It was decent.  Which is funny because the reviews on Goodreads are very Love it or Hate it.  Bender does a good job with the Down Side of a Superpower bit, but there isn’t a single incident of the kid eating something in a calcuated way to ascertain some piece of private information for her own purposes.

SPOILERS

The family dynamic is weird.  Desperately unhappy mother, a character that I never found as sympathetic as I expect was intended.  Desperately unhappy older brother.  Seemingly normal, if clueless father.  There are hints that the brother might also have some kind of “gift”, and I didn’t really like how his story played out.  But one of the later revelations – that the supernatural stuff came down from the dad’s side – rather tied it together to make some sense.

I was engaged with the narrative nearly the entire time, but it was in spite of the audio.  I am sorry to say this was my first bad experience with the author doing the reading.   The characters in Bender’s voice sounded whiny.  I am certain they would  have been less so in the privacy of my own head.  On the plus side, though, I understand from the reviews that Bender neglects punctuation in her dialog and I didn’t have to deal with that in the audio.

Overall, I am glad I went for it.

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